How A Comprehensive Audit For Your Production Equipment Benefits Your Company
Audit. It’s not a word most of us look forward to hearing, let alone wanting to be an active participant in the process. However, if you apply the term to your assembly line, an audit for your machine’s performance could be one of the best things you'd be doing for your company.
Today we’re going to look at why.
Bringing new life to aging infrastructure
In the manufacturing and packaging world it is common to see machinery that has been in operation for 25 years or more. No company looks forward to funding a considerable capital expense before they absolutely must.
However, as the years go on, every machine’s Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) begins to suffer due to a series of potential inefficiencies that include breakdown, setup and adjustment, minor stoppages, reduced speed, process defects and start-up losses.
The higher your OEE, the more predictable your output. The lower ... you get the picture.
Changing mindsets: Preventive maintenance vs. reactive repairs
When it comes to the maintenance and operation of your machines, the rules are strikingly similar to those regarding your own health — a little preventive maintenance now can ward off larger expenses, and more serious problems, in the future.
A comprehensive audit can provide you with a better understanding of the condition of your machine. This includes information on what issues need to be addressed immediately and what other potential challenges await in the future. Your audit should provide you with:
Opportunities to reduce the total costs associated with maintenance
Fewer urgent and emergency interruptions to operations because of equipment failure
Level workloads and a stabilized workforce
Controlled reductions in the inventory of materials and spare parts
Increased volume of work that can be planned and scheduled repetitively
A decrease in high-priority, randomly occurring and unscheduled work
Reduced unnecessary damage to equipment
In addition to these benefits, the audit process can also help your company plan for the downtime and maintenance of a machine while budgeting parts requests and spending. Some audit processes, like those we employ here at R.A Jones, can even support your purchasing department with all of the information it needs upfront and the costs required to keep existing machines running properly with minimal downtime and troubleshooting.
How you organization can support a successful machine audit
While much of the work necessary to perform the audit will understandably be done by the vendor you hire, there are some things your company can do to ensure your machine audit(s) are as successful as possible. This includes:
Securing commitment from top leadership
Applying the findings of the audit to your daily practice and carrying out maintenance advice at the cadence recommended. These processes should be instituted immediately
Involving process operators from the very beginning
Ensuring that everyone on your team understands the true cost of maintenance going forward in order to reinforce the importance of the daily routines
What to look for in an audit partner
As we said above, much of the audit work will be done by your vendor partner, but because it's such an important job, you naturally want to make the right hire. Look for a vendor offering a comprehensive system approach that utilizes hardware, software and methodology to assist technicians in performing the machine audits. The technician's findings should then be provided to you via detailed reports that allow you to see exactly where potential problems lie. Finally, your vendor's team should be able to offer comprehensive recommendations for the best way to solve your machine's issues in a cost-effective manner, rather than simply a list of the parts you need.
At R.A Jones, our audit tool allows for machine information to be loaded at the factory or remotely. We use OneDrive to synchronize, upload and download your audit information when you need it and communicate with your technician as questions arise. From there we work with you to determine the best course of strategy to deliver on your machine condition report rather than simply leave you a list of items to acquire. We explain when each individual piece is needed and why it will benefit your machine long-term. R.A Jones even offers repair kits that come packaged by sub-assembly for your machine allowing for flexible installation and all documentation needed to allow for easy assembly with a single point of contact. We also guaranteed fit and workmanship on the parts that we ship for your machine. It's a perfect partner solution for a very important capital decision.
Beginning the auditing process
A comprehensive audit provides your company invaluable information on the status of your most important assets. You'll know what problems are hampering your productivity today and what issues you'll need to be mindful of in the future. This allows you to immediately tackle those pressing needs while allocating future budget resources for issues that don't need to be addressed just yet.
It's the certainty you need surrounding your business's most important components, and that peace of mind will have you looking forward to this type of audit every single time.